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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Janet Montgomery

Jay, M., Montgomery, J., Nehlich, O., Towers, J. & Evans, J. (2013). British Iron Age chariot burials of the Arras culture: a multi-isotope approach to investigating mobility levels and subsistence practices. World Archaeology 45(3): 473-491.

Author(s) from Durham


Iron Age chariot burials in the UK are rare and restricted in their distribution. Historically it has been suggested that their Arras culture affinities with Continental Europe, particularly with the Paris basin in France, may be indicative of migration. The majority of them are found on chalk and the putative source region is also chalk. This has meant that a study using only strontium isotopes to identify mobile individuals is problematic. Here we present a range of isotope ratio data (strontium, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur) for seven chariot burials from Wetwang, Garton Station and Kirkburn. The majority of them are of men and women who were born and lived locally, although the individual from Kirkburn is likely to have spent his childhood elsewhere. They do, however, differ quite subtly from others in the local population, probably in their relationship to a local land-use pattern operating between two distinct biospheres.